Closet Cleanse

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After checking out the new styles at the Nordstrom sale, I was inspired to clean out my closet to get ready for the new season. I have so many pieces that I never wear anymore, but have been holding on to just in case. Instead of keeping these mediocre items, I decided to give my closet (and mind) a nice cleanse. Hopefully these tips well help you create a clutter-free closet that portrays the best version of yourself :)

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Unleash the real you. Your closet expresses who you are, so I want it to present who I am right now and who I dream of being. I feel like I have matured in the last year and I want my wardrobe to reflect that. It felt great to shed pieces that no longer fit with my inner self. Goodbye college party wardrobe!

Ask yourself the below questions about each garment and if they answer is “yes” to all four, then it’s a keeper!

  1. Do I love it?
  2. Does it look my age?
  3. Is it flattering?
  4. Is it the image I want to project – sophisticated, strong, sexy, etc.?

One issue I noticed was that I would hang on to pieces because it fit the dress code for work, but I didn’t actually like it anymore. I decided to get rid of these so that I wouldn’t be lazy and throw them on in the morning. This will force me to look my best every day.

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Define your style – preppy, edgy, trendy, bohemian? Once you establish the look you are going for, it’s easy to toss pieces that don’t fit into your wardrobe anymore. Try looking at Pinterest for inspiration and make a list of the key pieces that will help you build your desired wardrobe. While looking at items you already own, ask yourself if it is in line with the style you are trying to achieve. If not, then it’s time for it to go.

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Be honest with yourself. Do you really wear it or does it just hang in your closet day after day? If you haven’t worn a piece of clothing in more than a year, chances are you won’t miss it.

Another problem I have come across is that I have an item I like, but nothing else in my closet matches it. I have a pair of patterned, high-waisted shorts that I like the style of, but when I put them on they just never look right with any of my tops. I’d rather sell them and make money to buy something new instead of having them sit unworn in my closet.

Now that you’ve completed your closet purge, what should you do with the giveaway items? I’ve had good luck with Plato’s Closet and recently signed up for Poshmark, an app that allows you to share Instagram-style photos of the items and sell them to other users.

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{Clothing photos are from Peridot Boutique}

 

DIY Striped Coffee Table

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After a successful kitchen table makeover I decided to tackle our boring coffee table. Most of the wood furniture in our house has a darker stain, so this light-colored table stuck out like a sore thumb. Instead of adding more dark wood to our living room and kitchen area, I wanted to brighten it up a bit. Since a solid white table would get dirty too fast, I scoured Pinterest for more ideas. I saw several patterned tables and thought that a striped style would add a chic, modern touch while also matching our simple furniture. stripe table v2To make the table, I removed the stain and sanded it until smooth (similar to the tutorial for the kitchen table). Then I spray painted the entire table white. After it dried, I measured the stripes and covered the sections that were to remain white with painter’s tape. To protect the bottom half of the table, I used painter’s tape to hang newspapers directly under the table top (picture a hula skirt of newspaper beginning at the top of the white rim). I sprayed one final coat of white paint to secure the tape and prevent the gray from bleeding underneath. Once this layer had dried I sprayed several coats of gray, until they were solid stripes. I removed the tape after the final coat had dried and the result was a brand new table!

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I wasn’t sure how to style the table, but I came across this tray at Target and knew it would work perfectly! The clear base allows the stripes to show through, but the white design adds an interesting detail. To add some color I bought pretty flowers and placed them in a simple clear vase. I’m also on the look out for some stylish coffee table books to place on the other side. Emily Schuman’s video about how to style a coffee table on Cupcakes and Cashmere was really helpful in visualizing the arrangements I wanted to create.

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Kitchen Table Makeover

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Moving in with my fiance meant acquiring some of his furniture that is far from stylish. After seven months in Vegas, we still hadn’t gotten around to buying a new kitchen table, so I decided to try a little DIY magic on a table that his parents had bought for him at a garage sale many years ago. It’s amazing what some sanding and staining can do. Intricate details that I thought were tacky now add charming character and the distressed wood (not in a trendy way…) now looks crisp and classy. Since we saved money by making over our table, I decided to splurge and buy some floral chairs from Target to complement the modern look.

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What you’ll need:

  • 1 can Citristip
  • Plastic scraper
  • Orbital sander
  • Sand paper of varying grits (100, 120, 220)
  • Tack cloth
  • Newspapers
  • Brush or cloth
  • White spray paint (I used Valspar paint + primer,  about 3 cans)
  • Stain (I used Minwax Red Mahogany)
  • Polyurethane

How-to:

  1. Remove the finish. Move the table to a well ventilated area and place it on top of a tarp or cardboard to protect the surrounding areas. To strip the existing finish, I sprayed the table with Citristip and let it sit for an hour before scraping it off with a plastic scraping tool (read can for safety and detailed directions).
  2. Use an orbital sander to smooth the table, going with the grain. Do most of the initial sanding with 100-grit sandpaper, then step up to 150-grit and do a final pass with 220-grit. Wipe off the dust with a tack cloth.
  3. Cover the top of the table with newspapers, taping the edges with painters tape to create clean lines. Spray paint the base of the table; it may take a few coats.
  4. Remove newspaper before applying the wood stain. Apply stain with a brush or cloth, following the wood’s natural grain. Follow the directions on can to achieve desired result. Apply at least 2 coats. If the wood seems rough, sand between coats and remove dust with a tack cloth to smooth the surface.
  5. After the final coat of stain has thoroughly dried, apply polyurethane according to the manufacturers’ instructions. Apply at least four coats since a kitchen table should be durable. Let dry for 24 hours before using the table.

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How To Style a Bookshelf

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A bookshelf can be as fashionable as it is functional. It makes a statement about who you are, what you are passionate about and gives you a blank canvas to display your favorite things. The challenge is to create a shelf composition that is visually appealing and not too cluttered. There is an art to organizing the books and having the decorative items tell your story and share your interests and hobbies.

  1. Begin with a blank slate. Take everything off of the shelves and go through the collection of books and decor to see what you would like to keep.
  2. Embrace negative space. The shelves don’t have to be completely full and cluttered. It looks best when you don’t over-stuff them and leave some breathing room.
  3. To add some pretty patterns and colors, cover books that don’t match your color scheme or have seen better days with pretty paper. I found the chevron and polka dot wrapping paper, pictured below, at Target for only a few dollars!
  4. Mix it up. Have some of the books displayed vertically and others stacked horizontally. Vary the heights of decorative objects, such as tall and short candles or give a decorative bowl a boost by stacking it on top of a few horizontal books.
  5. Odd can be perfect. Don’t worry about having everything perfectly symmetrical and even. Creating balance on a book shelf involves placing items off center and grouping things in odd numbers. A collection of candles looks better when there are three of varying heights instead of two that are equal in size.
  6. Integrate books and decorative objects. A bookshelf is not just for storage; it is a backdrop for your favorite decorative items, such as photos, art, vases, meaningful knick-knacks, etc. This is a fun way to express yourself and share your passions and pursuits.

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Antler Candle Holders

20131205-182447.jpg Rustic meets modern with these antler pillar candle holders. My sister found these at Target and paired them with fun, trendy candles from Hobby Lobby. The pretty patterns mixed with the country candlesticks create a sophisticated, lodge-like look. She made an adorable arrangement with the mason jar and box sign, which makes for a great center piece on a kitchen table or a unique accessory on a bookshelf.

// Get the Look //

Antler Pillar Candle Holder: $14.99 from Target

Chevron Candle: $8.99 from Hobby Lobby

Quatrefoil Candle: $7.99 from Hobby Lobby

Home for the Holidays

Like the song says, “There’s no place like home for the holidays!” I’ve never found this so true until I was visiting Seattle last weekend. I’m not used to the sunny winters and brown scenery of Las Vegas, so it didn’t really feel like Christmas until I was able to see the green trees, gray skies and Christmas lights on the Space Needle. Below are a few photos from my quick trip.

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(1) My mom still hangs stockings for all of the kids (and the three dogs) in the family. (2) My pink “J” stocking. (3) As you can tell by the frozen fountain, it was a little chilly shopping at University Village – it got down to 15 degrees! (4) Although it was cold, I had to get the salted caramel ice cream from Molly Moon’s. (5) Ok, I also had to get my favorite cupcake from Trophy (6) I was just as excited (if not more…) to see my dogs as I was my parents. (7) Muddy – our sweet, old lab.

Tuesday Trends

It is only fitting that I share my favorite trends (and treats) on a weekly basis. That is the name of my blog after all, so this is my inaugural “Tuesday Trends” post. I’ll be sharing my favorite trends in everything from fashion and beauty to home décor and crafts.

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I’ve seen these DIY tassel garlands all over Pinterest lately. They are cute for the upcoming holidays, but can also add festive flare to your home year-round. I found this tutorial from The Cottage Market, which I want to try soon.

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Studs are here to stay. These Steve Madden flats will add a trendy touch to even the simplest outfits.
{ Jeans + basic t-shirt or sweater + studded, leopard print loafers = instantly chic }
It’s simple style math.

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 Second-day hair at it’s finest. This double fishtail braid from Hotunot is perfect for a laid-back, yet put-together style. The basic French braid seamlessly transitions into a side-swept fishtail braid.

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Vintage Christmas ornaments. I love that the colors and patterns give the decorations a retro look. Twinkling white lights would really make them shine! Can you believe Christmas is coming up?! I can’t. Winter is supposed to be cloudy, rainy and cozy; not sunny, warm and bright like it is in Las Vegas. I can’t wait to get into the Christmas spirit when I visit Washington next month :)

DIY Chalkboard Coasters

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Chalkboard paint is an easy way to transform any household item. Sine I have a lot left over from painting mason jar lids, I decided to try some more chalkboard crafts. These coasters are fun and functional! Guests can write their name on them, so no more wondering whose drink is whose. They can also be used as a place card at dinner parties. Best of all, they are simple and inexpensive to make. Make a set for yourself or wrap them up as a hostess gift!

You will need:

  • 4×4 tiles or wood squares
  • chalkboard paint (I used Martha Stewart’s)
  • paintbrush (foam or fine-bristled)
  • Chalk

All you need to do is paint a few coats on the tile (let dry in between) and you’re done! You could also use colored acrylic paint to create a design on it, such as a border or some polka dots for a permanent design. Then write away! Use a damp cloth to wipe off the coaster before making another creative chalk creation.

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DIY Mason Jar Soap Dispenser

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DIY mason jar projects are so cute and so easy! My sister made these soap dispensers for under $5 each! They easily add country charm to your bathroom or kitchen.

What you’ll need:

  • Mason jar
  • Soap pump (She got them from Williams-Sonoma where they were having a buy one get one for a dollar sale)
  • Screwdriver
  • Scissors

How to:

  • To make a hole for the soap dispenser, punch a screwdriver through the lid and wriggle it around to create a hole big enough for the pump to fit through, but not too big because then it won’t stay in place.
  • Cut the bottom of the straw so that it fits in the jar.
  • Ta da! You have a cute, chic soap dispenser!

Apartment Therapy, Mikaela Ray and The Sweetest Digs have great tutorials, too!

DIY Chalkboard Mason Jar Lids

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Keep food fresh and fashionable with this simple DIY project! For country chic cupboards, paint the lid of a mason jar with chalkboard paint. It’s an easy way to label and organize your pantry. Tie on some twine or ribbon for a decorative touch!

Supplies:

  • Mason jars with lids
  • Chalkboard spray paint
  • chalk
  • Twine or ribbon (optional)

How to:

  • Remove and thoroughly clean the lids.
  • Once dry, place on a protected surface (newspaper, etc.). Spray paint them with chalkboard paint. Let dry.
  • Use chalk to label the lids.

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DIY Instagram Coasters

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Don’t let those perfectly edited photos on your phone just sit around and collect dust (figuratively speaking). Get crafty and make some coasters with them! It’s a fun way to share photos and bring up conversations when guests are over. They add a personalized touch to any coffee table. I used photos from a trip to Cabo as well as other random favorites. They are simple and inexpensive to make. I’ve also used scrapbook paper instead of photos, which looked great, too! Keep them for yourself or wrap them up as a gift!

Supplies:

  • Printed 4″ x 4″ Instagram photos
  • 4.25″ x 4.25″ tiles (I got them from Home Depot for 11 cents each)
  • Mod Podge (I used the outdoor version)
  • foam paint brush
  • Clear Acrylic spray
  • Small, round felt pads

How to:

  1. Paint a thin layer of Mod Podge on the tile and stick on the photo. Make sure there are not any air bubbles that form underneath it. Sometimes it helps to run a credit card or similar flat edge over it to make sure. Let dry for a couple of minutes.
  2. Next, paint a thin layer of Mod Podge over the top of the photo. The brush marks should go in the same direction (i.e., either vertical or horizontal). Let dry.
  3. Paint another coat over the photo in the opposite direction. Let dry.
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 one more time.
  5. Once the Mod Podge has dried, spray coaster with a light layer of Clear Acrylic spray. Add 2 more coats, drying in between.
  6. Stick a felt pad in each of the 4 corners.
  7. Pour some drinks and put them to the test :)

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DIY Fourth of July Centerpiece

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Nothing says summer like the 4th of July and red, white and blue! My favorite way to kick off the season is by hosting a barbecue with friends and family. This patriotic candle holder would look great displayed on a buffet or out on the patio after sunset. Best of all, it only cost $3 to make! I got the pail from the $1 section of target. The candle and white beans are both from the dollar store. All you need to do is put a small layer of beans in the pail, place the candle in the middle, then pour more beans around it. Sand or coffee beans would also be cute!

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More 4th of July ideas to come! :)

 

StylishGirl

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StylishGirl is my new favorite iPhone app! It allows you to have your wardrobe in the palm of your hand! You start by taking pictures of all the items in your closet and categorizing them. It takes a little while, but it’s nice to see everything you have! For example, I have some items that I always overlooked, but while taking the pictures I realized that it’s still really cute. You can also make notes and write details for each item (size, where it’s from, etc.).

My favorite feature is that you can put outfits together and save them. When I’m in a rush to get to work, but still want to look put-together, I can just pull up my list of saved outfits and throw it on without having to think about it.

This app also lets you pack your “suitcase” by adding single items or an entire outfit at once! I’m going to Mexico in a couple of weeks and want to start packing now, but I don’t want to have my actual suitcase sitting out until then. With this app I can see what I want to bring without having piles of clothes on my floor. It also helps me see what I’m missing. I’ve learned that I don’t have much of a warm-weather wardrobe since I’ve lived in Seattle my entire life. This will have to change!

I also love this app because when I am out shopping, I can see if I have anything that matches the item I’m thinking about buying. Also, I can see if I have anything similar to it that I forgot about.

If you’re a clothing addict like me, you will absolutely love this app!

Wall Décor

When I graduated from college last year, I was so excited to have my own room! You would think at 22 I wouldn’t have been sleeping in a bunk bed still, but I always had roommates while living in the sorority. Having a townhouse in Seattle with just two friends was a nice change. Since I finally had my own space, I wanted to make it look like me. I don’t have much wall space in my bedroom, but I made the most of it.

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I started this arrangement with the middle frame that I found at Hobby Lobby (everything else is from there, too). Coral is my favorite color and is everywhere in my room, so of course everything had to match! I used the left over paint from my dresser to paint the wood frame and two wood plaques (I love the unique shapes and they are only $2.99!). When the paint was dry, I used Mod Podge to stick a photo on one of the plaques. I used a nail to hang the “J” from the other one. Then I attached sawtooth picture hangers to the back of them, so I could hang them from a nail in the wall.

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If you haven’t noticed from previous posts, I LOVE cupcakes. I came across this cupcake scrapbook paper and wanted to add it to my wall décor, so I framed it using a 12×12 inch frame.

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The “Laugh” and “Relax” signs caught my eye because of the colors and design, but the words also fit my personality. They really tied everything together. I played around with the arrangement on the floor before measuring it out on the wall and hanging it up.

I’m very happy with the finished product! It was a fun, easy DIY project and expresses who I am :)

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Target Treasures

Target is my weakness. Sometimes I get the urge to go and just look at everything, but let’s be real, I never walk out empty-handed. Everything is so affordable and cute! Here are some of my recent finds.

First of all, Target has the best knock-off shoes! These flats look almost identical to the Steve Madden version! However, I only paid $19.99!

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I’m also obsessed with kitchen accessories. These cute holders look like they are straight off of Pinterest! I love the chalkboard label!

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Their spring line includes my favorite colors: coral and mint! This fun box brightens up the bookshelf I painted!

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Also, how can I pass up a swimsuit that is only $14.99 per piece?! I love anything that has studs on it. I won’t be able to wear it for a while living in Washington and all, but it will get plenty of use on my vacation to Mexico in May!

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Fun in Fremont

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After living in Seattle for five years now, how have I never been to the Fremont Sunday Market before?! There is food, mobile clothing boutiques, jewelry, crafts, home decor and thrift store-type items, so basically everything I love! My roommates and I had the best time. They both got some delicious jam from a stand that sold unique flavors such as raspberry chipotle (which had beer in it, too, although you couldn’t taste it). I enjoyed the booth selling gluten-free pastries! However, the mobile clothing boutiques were my favorite. These repurposed school buses and trailers were as cute on the outside as they were the inside! One was even heated and had a dressing room. They had a surprisingly big selection of cute clothes, accessories and purses. Check out the pictures of our weekend adventure below :)

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Many Uses for Mason Jars

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As you can probably tell from the description of this blog, I love cupcakes. I’ve started to acquire quite the collection of cupcake liners because as much as I love eating cupcakes, I like baking them even more. I found that mason jars are a cute and convenient way to store them!

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Mason jars are also great for holding loose change! Every penny adds up. Keep tossing your coins in and use it to buy a treat for yourself when it reaches the top!

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My roommate made this candle by tying natural brown string around the top and hot-gluing the bow in place. Then put your favorite candle inside and enjoy!

 

Picture Perfect

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This was one of my favorite Christmas presents this year! It’s a fun way to display pictures. I think it could be a DIY project too: just paint a wood frame, string some wire across and add painted clothespins to hang pictures! I also added this page of my daily “Someecard” calendar. I am a chocolate addict, so this one was very fitting.

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